The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board criticized President Donald Trump’s new trade deal with Mexico and described it as being “worse” than the North American Free Trade Agreement “in many ways.”
“We’ll reserve judgment until we see the fine print,” the editorial board wrote in a Tuesday op-ed. “But on first inspection this is half a NAFTA that contains some improvements but is notably worse in many ways. Whether it can pass Congress is far from certain.” (RELATED: Wall Street Journal’s William McGrun Proposes Abolishing FISA Court Entirely)
The board claimed it would be a “huge economic blow” if Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw from NAFTA and said it would hurt his re-election chances in 2020.
“The new deal has many problems, however, not least that it excludes Canada,” the op-ed continued. “Canada handled that threat with prudent restraint, praising the U.S.-Mexico ‘progress’ and offering to rejoin trilateral talks this week.”
The authors also expressed concern about American investors losing their current protections under the new deal.
“The bilateral deal strips current protections from most U.S. investors in Mexico. Oil and gas, telecom and power-generation investors will retain what they now have. Others will be protected only against physical expropriation,” the board wrote.
The op-ed lamented “new red tape and costs” that will be incurred by the auto industry designed to “punish imports.”
“The deal says that to get tariff-free treatment cars sold in North America must have 75 percent of their content made here, up from 62.5 percent, and at least 40 percent of the content must be made with workers who earn $16 an hour,” the article reads.
“The deal announced Monday has moving parts and there is still time to make improvements before it is signed and sent to Congress,” the editorial board concluded. “We’re glad to see Mr. Trump step back from the suicide of NAFTA withdrawal, but on the public evidence so far his new deal is worse.”
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